India talks tough: Sends out stern message to Canada and its allies - The Tribune India

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India talks tough

Sends out stern message to Canada and its allies

India talks tough

S Jaishankar External Affairs Minister. PTI file photo

AMID a diplomatic fracas with Canada over the killing of pro-Khalistan terror accused Hardeep Singh Nijjar, India has exhorted the UN member states not to allow ‘political convenience’ to determine responses to terrorism, extremism and violence. Addressing the 78th UN General Assembly session in New York, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar didn’t mince words when he stated that respect for territorial integrity and non-interference in internal affairs of countries could not be ‘exercises in cherry-picking’. In a reaffirmation of India’s fiercely independent foreign policy, Jaishankar said the days when a few nations set the agenda and expected others to fall in line are over.

It is laudable that India has held its ground despite being in the crosshairs of the Five Eyes — the intelligence-sharing alliance between Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the UK and the US — with regard to the Nijjar case. During a discussion at the Council on Foreign Relations after his UN address, Jaishankar said New Delhi had conveyed to Ottawa that it was open to looking at ‘specific’ and ‘relevant’ information concerning the case. With regard to Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s allegation that agents of the Indian Government were linked to the June 18 murder, he clarified that it was not India’s policy to indulge in such activities.

This tough stand should make Canada and its allies realise that India is no longer a country beholden to the West. New Delhi has rightly put the onus on Ottawa to first set its own house in order before pointing a finger at other nations. In recent years, the Maple Country has witnessed many incidents of organised crime related to secessionism and extremism, but not much has been done to rein in anti-India elements. India-Canada cooperation can make headway only if the latter stops hosting terrorists while claiming the moral high ground.

#Canada #New York

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